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Muza Sheet Metal: Steeped in culture, family and quality

The Oshkosh-based company currently has slightly more than 120 active employees

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September 7, 2022

OSHKOSH – Few companies can boast a history of nearly 100 years in existence, but Muza Sheet Metal is one such company. The company has changed hands several times over the years, but always had family-roots as part of its culture.

The Oshkosh-based company was founded in 1928 by Leo J. Muza. Nearly 30 years later, in 1957, Muza Metal Products became a division of Muza Sheet Metal Company.

Sometime between 1974 and 1976, the companies officially became two separate legal entities – Muza Metal Products continued to be run by Leo Muza; while Muza Sheet Metal was taken over by Aloys Schuster, husband of the former Helen Muza.

In 1985, Aloys’ sons, Charles and Thomas Schuster, bought Muza Sheet Metal from their father, and ran it together for almost two decades.

Meanwhile, Fond du Lac natives and present-day owners, Carven Blanck and his brother Sam Blanck came on board – Carven as shop manager in 1998 and Sam Blanck as a project manager in 2000 – not knowing that one day they would become owners of the company. 

Carven became part-owner of Muza Sheet Metal Company in 2003, along with Charles and Thomas Schuster. Shortly after Thomas retired in 2008, Sam joined his brother and Charles as part-owners (2009). A few years later, in 2011, Charles retired, at which time Carven and Sam became 50/50 co-owners of the company.

Like their predecessors, the Blanck brothers said they have kept the same philosophies: provide a quality product at reasonable, competitive prices, treat employees as if they were family and make sure your customers are always happy. They said by always keeping those as their primary focus, the company has realized steady growth throughout the years. 

Steady growth
Sam said Muza Sheet Metal has grown from about 15 to 20 employees back in the late ’90s and 2000, to slightly more than 120 active employees currently. They have also moved from two separate facilities on the northside of Oshkosh to a new 110,000-square-foot facility on the city’s southside – all made possible through increased sales and a changed product line.

“When the company first started it was more of a contracting business with HVAC, dust collection-type products,” Same said. “But since then, we’ve somewhat altered our direction of the company, and it’s now more of an architectural-based company, with wall panels, exterior skins on the outsides of buildings. So, any type of metal skin on the outside of a building is really where we’re at these days. We fabricate, manufacture and install it ourselves.”

Carven said they found a niche in the marketplace and teamwork helped the company capitalize on that in the marketplace.  
“It’s a whole team effort here, there’s no doubt about it,” Carven said. “We feel everybody is as important as everybody else on our team. I always use the analogy that we’re a big wheel just rolling down the road and everybody is a spoke in that wheel. If we’re not all doing our part, it just doesn’t work as well. There is no longer spoke, or shorter spoken – every spoke is the same length and everybody has their job to do. (That idea) has really worked out well for us.”

Muza was named Small Business of the Year in 2021 by the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, and were statewide finalists for Manufacturer of the Year, an award given by the Wisconsin Manufacturers of Commerce.

“We have a great employee environment here, and we consider ourselves to be a big family,”

Carven said, adding that what used to be rooted in the Muza family history, is now rooted in the Blanck family.

Carven said he has two sons working at Muza and Sam has one employed there. In addition, they have six or seven journeymen who have sons employed there, too.


Sam, left, and Carven Blanck became 50/50 co-owners of Muza Sheet Metal in 2011. Muza Sheet Metal Photo

Sam said they all work hard as one big family, but play hard, too.

“We have a summer party, a winter party, a golf outing and we see all of the families (at these events), and they are all our family and friends, too.”

Carven said one of the company’s biggest, most exciting projects for 2022 is the opening of a satellite shop in the Madison area – a 40,000-square-foot facility in Windsor, Wisconsin, on the northern edge of Madison, just north of the airport.

He said with not many commercial properties for sale, they feel very fortunate to have found this one. The Blancks have many projects in the Madison area already, but they don’t have a physical presence there, hence the opening of a satellite shop.

“Contractors and owners are more loyal to people who have an actual physical presence in that area,” Carven said. “So, we feel that we can double or triple the work we have down there by opening this shop. Not only that, it’s just more convenient to have a facility down there for storage and manufacturing.”

He said it’s also easier to have people down there to oversee the work down there, rather than having people from Oshkosh driving back and forth.

Carven said it also affords them the opportunity to get involved in the Madison area community.

“We think it’s important to give back to the community, but it’s also about the workforce and being diverse,” Carven said. “It’s hard to be diverse up here (in the Oshkosh area), but there’s a bigger pool of candidates to choose from down there, making being diverse much easier.”

The Blanck brothers said Muza is constantly hiring and is one of the few companies with a youth apprenticeship program – employing two 16-year-old apprentices, one female and one male – which provides paid hands-on skilled-trade learning and while finishing the program.

Like many companies, Carvin said Muza Sheet Metal is definitely looking to hire in both Oshkosh and Madison – offering unionized positions with no required overtime, only first and second shifts Monday-Friday and 100%-company paid health insurance.

“It’s been the same since 1928 – quality craftsmanship at a competitive price and never to leave that jobsite where the customer’s unhappy,” Carvin said. “That’s what’s gotten us through all these years. There were some hard times, but if you put out a good product at a quality price, you should never have a problem.”

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